RMF Summary: Week of February 9 - 15, 2013

February 9
Deepak Chopra gives another glaring example of his being in the Stag
Jalan posts: 

In a recent article on Linked-in (http://goo.gl/uqK2N) Deepak Chopra talks of consciousness/awareness as a principal part of leadership - clearly, the spiritual/psychological ideas have been picked up from Hinduism but he has been successful at completely de-contextualising them. (I even feel he is force-fitting the spiritual ideas into the sphere of business management, as is fashionable nowadays.) 

What is particularly remarkable is that he writes "The most ancient wisdom traditions say, Know that one thing by which all else is known." Ah he is shy to say "The Upanishads say..." since this great human inquiry comes from the Chhandogya Upanishad ("What is that by knowing which all else is known?") What "traditionS" is he talking of? It is singularly to be found in Hinduism. DC either suffers from deep inferiority complex and/or he is simply trying to be more acceptable to the western audiences who are his target market... "

Shiva responds:
"If these are his views, he has his ideas wrong.

Consciousness is not a tool to be used for leadership. if you are chasing consciousness to be a better leader, its the wrong idea. You will end up getting bliss trips, and not concentrate on Karma yoga.

...Management professionals end up using yoga, [spirituality] as some escape from pressures of worklife, its no different than a healthier version of cigarettes. One has to integrate work and life as single stream, where the work itself becomes joy.

One of my professors in indias top institutions, is a brahmakumari follower. He is always in a meditative state of bliss consciousness, but is more like drugged rather than aware. He is one of the worst professors around...

Rajiv comment:
There are multiple points above, each requiring its own response. For instance,

1) raising consciousness can be useful to become a better manager or for that matter improve oneself in daily life in general. Yoga is not only for escape to moksha from the real world.

2) The point about brahmakumari escapism as some kind of intoxicant is valid, and this applies to a large number of modern Hindu movements in vogue. "

Saket adds:
"My Vedanta guru explains leadership in this way- there is leader, there is group to be led, leadership is how the leader relates to the group being led. One may easily find the principle of one brahman and its multiple manifestation but analogy is not complete. To understand the multiple manifestation maya one must understand the brahman. Hence I concur with Rajiv Ji's observation no. 1. 

... even Arjuna has a session of Jnana yoga before he pursued the path of karma yoga. Hence they exist in combination. One can not impose strict categories like heaven or hell.
On third point about  Management professionals end up using yoga, spirituality as some escape from pressures of work life and a prof in a meditative state of bliss consciousness; there is a precise injunction in
Isavasyo Upanishad mantra 9 on this state of mind. This is what the master says:

Those who worship avidya ignorance enter into blinding darkness; but those who revel in vidya knowledge
enter as it were into greater darkness than that..." 

Poonam adds:
"I know hoe deepak chopra packages the Hindu Vedic Knowledge wisdom in a western context totally refuses to mention its Hindu origins. But he does not forget to patent copyright his books, so that he can het the financial benefit from them. But he has a partner /or friend, Wayne Dyer. The Dyer Chopra families, it appears, are very close, frequently vacation together all over the world in India. I remember watching Wayne Dyer often on PBS during their fund raising marathons, where he would the patrons were given for te highest contribution level, a set of books, workbooks, DVDs, CDs. conduct seminars specially for PBS. what he called "the whole enchilada). I listened to a lot of his seminars, he often referred to his experiences during the time he spent with Neem Karoli Baba in India, often mantioned him as his Guru..."

February 11
"The Permanence Of Ideas
Ganesh posts: Came across this article in today's ...Times of India. A fair enough take on Sanathana Dharma with Maha Kumbh as the backdrop. Evidence of chapter titled "order and chaos" from Sri Rajiv Malhotra's Being Different clearly visible."

Rahul comments on the false equivalence of Brahma and Abraham in the above post:
"p251 of BD has a section about Sanskrit non-translatable's that explains Brahman as the all-expansive ultimate reality which creates all and lives
in all and transcends all. The J-C God is the creator of the universe and *distinct* and separate from it. Whereas Brahman is immanent, not merely the creator but IS that world. Brahman and its manifestation are inseparable."   

February 12 (continuing from last week)
One of the UTurn patterns: An example
One of several patterns of Uturns is when the scholar takes Hindu contributions to the West, and reclassifies them as "Asian" or something broader, in order to...  

Raj comments:
"This is truly very disappointing & unfortunate. Based on the description, I guess this is referring to []Beck? I knew he had received funding, so when I came across his books on Amazon I assumed they were outcomes of research funded by Infinity Foundation. The local American Kirtan groups who know about his research will be utterly shocked to learn this ....  If after almost his entire career of research, deep cultural & personal involvement with Indian classical music & artists, he can so easily abdicate his responsibility towards truth, fairness & integrity, it is a complete betrayal of trust..."

February 13 
Are all religions really the same according to Vedas?
Rohit asks :
"ekaṃ sad viprā bahudhā vadanti" is often quoted to mean that Hindus accept all religions as different ways to the same truth. Phil Goldberg [see American Veda posts in this blog archive to learn more about PG] has quoted this expression to suggest that Hindus subscribe to sameness and hence do not object to treating Hinduism as a deli by other religions.Following is the verse in Rig Veda where this quote comes from.  There is no way such a meaning can be ascribed to it....Rigveda 1.164.46...

Manas responds:
"...The savant Sita Ram Goel has addressed this matter as well. Quoted below from his book, Defense of Hindu Society:
The one Vedic verse which modern Hindus quote most frequently is the third quarter (caraNa) of Rigveda 1.164.46..."

Surya also provides some excellent feedback:
"Proposition: All religions are equal - This formulation is understood to mean equal in some particular sense and not in the sense that all religions are identical.

Response: Since it is self-evident that any two religions have some noticeable differences, "equal" cannot mean identical.  It can mean equal in some particular sense.  All religions are equal as religious entities in the same sense as all individuals are equal as legal entities.  ...Rather, what is meant is that no individual is entitled to a privileged position.  Nor does it mean that one person cannot be picked in preference over another based on differences.  Thus, what Hinduism is saying is that all religions are equal in the sense that they all make truth-claims and none of the can claim its truth-claims to be true and there proceed to null-doze all others to be false.  

"All religions are equal" acquires the same revolutionary force which the cry "All me are created equal" had on the lips of those who stormed the Bastille.

Proposition: All religions are One - If ultimately everything is Brahman, and all there is Brahman, then any differences between religions is superficial and perceived as real because of ignorance.  Therefore, all religions are one when one looks beyond their superficial differences.

Response:  The idea of oneness in "All religions are one" has been made one with the idea of oneness of Brahman.  The two have been collapsed into one claiming that the collapse is justified by non-duality ideas of Advaita.  Advaita does not say that manifestation of the Universe and differentiation of things manifest are homogeneous in ultimate reality.  The key element to remember when talking about ultimate reality is not the "oneness" but the "indescribability", not its unity but ineffability.  

If the ideas of oneness are not the same, then what do Hindus mean by oneness in saying "All religions are One"?  Hindu idea of oneness for religions is an idea of tolerance.  Hindu idea of tolerance is as much connected to Hindu theism as with Hindu non-duality.  

PropositionAll religions are the same - This formulation is understood to mean that all religions are means to the same end, furnishing men with different but partial insights into nature of reality of equal value.

Response: This position holds that all religions are merely paths and do not have any truth associated with their particulars.  Thus, differences in particulars of the religions is irrelevant to the ultimate truth.  They merely are different paths to the same goal or destination and hence ultimately false.

This is at best an extreme position even for Advaita which asserts the dependent reality of Saguna Brahman and the Universe which are not false but relative truths.   Besides, Hindus who are non-Advaitins certainly do not accept that their path is false.

Proposition: All religions are essentially the same
 - This formulation suggests that, upon careful enquiry, one finds that the essence of all religions is the same.  Their differences are only superficial.  

Response: A generality of all religions has been postulated called the essence with all religions as particulars of this general essence.  Problem with this is that an essence is posited but we are not told what the essence really consists of.  At a minimum, there needs to be an argument cannot but be based on a common, general essence.  This has not been done either.

PropositionAll religions have an abiding sense of the Universal - ..there is an abiding sense of the Universal, then this Universal has to exist independent of the religions it abides in.  Why?  Many religions have a known beginning and some have disappeared.  Therefore, what is abiding is not the particulars of religions but the Universal essence that is contained in all of them.

Response: This argument suffers from not establishing that there needs to be a common abiding sense of the Universal.  It also fails to offer any indication of what this shared sense of Universal is.

Question: Can the Hindu position be "All religions are true?".  If so, what is its intended meaning?

Response: Yes, it is the Hindu position.  It is best understood as the diametric opposite of "My religion alone is true and all else are false."  The intended meaning is "Each of the religions may be true or false.  When Hindus use words like same or valid or equal or equally true or One, they are not suggesting Homogeneity.  Because of the metaphysical nature of essential claims of a religion, there is no way of ascertaining its truth or falsity.  Thus, one cannot be designated as truth and the rest designated as false."

Reference: All Religions Are: Equal? One? True? Same?: A Critical Examination of Some Formulations of the Neo-Hindu Position

Arvind Sharma
Philosophy East and West
Vol. 29, No. 1 (Jan., 1979), pp. 59-72
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press .."

Wadhwa adds:
Commenting on western scholars' Vedic interpretation and particularly of 'ekam sad' (RV 1-164-46), Sri Aurobindo (in a chapter on Dayananda  and the Veda) writes:
"An interpretation of  Veda must stand or fall by its central conception of the Vedic religion and the amount of support given to it by the intrinsic evidence of the Veda itself.  Here Dayananda's view is quite clear, its foundation inexpugnable.   The Vedic hymns are chanted to the one Deity under many names which are used and even designed to express his qualities and powers. The Vedic rishis ought surely to have known something about their own religion, more,  let us hope than Roth or Max Muller and this is what they knew."

Sri Aurobindo further states "We are aware how modern scholars twist away from the evidence.  This hymn they say was a late production, this loftier idea which it expresses with so clear a force rose up somehow in the later Aryan mind or was borrowed by those ignorant fire-worshippers, sun-worshippers, sky-worshippers from their cultured and philosophic Dravidian enemies.  But throughout the Veda we have confirmatory hymns and expressions: Agni or Indra or another is expressly hymned as one with all the other gods.  Agni contains all other divine powers within himself, the Maruts are described as all the gods, one deity is addressed by the names of others as well as his own, or most commonly, he is given as Lord and King of the universe, attributes only appropriate to the Supreme Deity......"
February 15
NRI Experiences -- The way Hindus deal with Death
Venkat shares:
".... At Jeevodaya we assist terminally ill cancer patients die with dignity making their last days on earth as pleasant and pain free as possible

Hindus generally have a pretty awful way to farewell the dear departed following age old traditions that need a big over haul:

Yesterday 28th March 2008, I had to attend the Funeral of a good friend of mine.

Anthony[]..., was a maths teacher at a Girls
High School, was a great Rugby player when young and coached my sons Rugby team.

When I fell ill in the year ..., Tony stepped in unasked as Anand¹s God Father, took him under his wings and steered him through his ... Exams....

Soon after Tony was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer and ... the Cancer had spread to his brain and was terminal. Tony passed away on Easter Friday....

.....Over all the mourners gave a fitting farewell to a nice man. The Club members gave a guard of honour and sang in chorus
Considering I have lived in Sydney since ...., I have spent half my life in Australia and the first half in India, something was bugging me. Why can we Hindus not treat dead people with more love and respect ?

Driving back home my thought went fleeting back to the funeral I had to attend in February this year while I was in Madras. He was a relative of mine, ... and had had a grand life and died in his sleep.

Family members were told that the cremation would be in the morning. ....the body was moved outside the house and placed on the ground on the drive way. We all stood around while the professional cremator ( what ever you call him ) blew the Chonk and the Bugle ( for want of a
better word). He did this several times sending shivers down our spines.

I looked up at the sky and the apartments around the house. One by one curtains were drawn and windows closed shut to cut out the scary noise as well as keep the bad luck out of their houses.

The entire process was appalling, with the corpse being de robed and bathed and clad in a white cloth in the drive way. A make shift cloth curtain was used and ladies were asked to look the other way. His jewelry were removed
unceremoniously. Garlands were placed on the body and close relatives walked around the body thrice and before we even realised the body was carried away by pall bearers to the cemetery for cremation.

I am sitting here comparing the two funerals and keep wondering why in the name of religion we treat our dead in such an appalling manner. No one said a kind word about the man and there were no prayers offered by family and friends.

This is a non Brahmin funeral I am talking about and the Brahmin funerals are worse. The minute a man or a woman dies, the body is placed outside the house and within a matter of minutes the corpse is wrapped in a cloth and
placed on a bamboo frame and marched off.

If this bit is bad you must think of the appalling conditions at the cemetery or the new Indian crematoriums. Abandoned buildings in ruins that are filthy, operated by scavengers who ask for mourners for money for every
thing. On one occasion we had to wait there with the body for a few hours as there was some mix up and one of the furnaces malfunctioned.

NRIs I should say have made funerals respectable....I prefer the Christian way of farewelling dead people and am glad Hindu NRIs have adopted a similar style...."

Moderator's question:
"Below reference from Venkat is an interesting example of
ignorant Indian's using a really broad brush to paint Indic Antyeshti (funeral) traditions as 'bad'. Whether genuine or just a conversion ploy, it will rattle those Hindus who are unaware of the profoundly organic/existential & well
thought Samskaaras inherent in all Indic traditions, which have inspired almost all Asian civilizations to incorporate these frameworks into their practices.

I wonder what would members' response be to this Australian deracinated Hindu who prefers the Christian ways of bereavement practises." 


[Also refer to prior RMF threads on Vegetarianism here].
February 13
Vegetarianism is India's curse, it must be ditched
Srinath initiates the debate: 
This was first suggested by someone in the sixties, but the green revolution made such discussions moot. Hunger in India is more due to poverty or problems with food distribution than the non-availability of food, and so such "solutions" are unnecessary. Besides, no sensible person worth their salt would make such a statement today, with a much better understanding of the environmental effects of animal husbandry, the amount of grain that is currently diverted to cows for beef production in the West (especially the US), and the fact that world population could top 15 billion by the middle of the century or at least by the end of it. Most nutritional guidelines are advocating lowering the consumption of red meat rather than increasing, and so this article again misses the mark. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it's probably worth investigating the UK Independent newspaper's motivations....."

Rajiv comment: Farm land is more efficiently utilized to feed vegetarians than non-vegetarians. This is well established. From a given amount of acreage one can feed 3 to 5 times as many vegetarians as non-vegetarians. There are also studies on how non-vegetarianism costs environmental problems. If the argument raised by the opponent is based on economics and social well being, then we must respond in kind and not cite a moral response only
Deen says:
"1. Grass/leaves eating animals have long intestine and carnivorous animals have short intestine. Human beings have long intestine.
2. Grass/leaves eating animals drink water by sucking and carnivorous animals use their tongue for taking water in. Human beings drink by sucking/swallowing..."
Arihant says:
" In my honest opinion, Hindus are mostly cowards and vegetarian weaklings as well as spiritually corrupt by not following their Aryan Vedic forefathers or Aryaputras like Shri Ram, Maharaj Kaushik turned Brahmarishi Vishwamitra, King Shibi, Maharishi Agastya and so on. All of these great personalities used to hunt and eat animal flesh and were manly Seers and/or King-Warriors who
would strike into the hearts of their enemies. Greatest Vedic sacrifice Ashwamedha Yajna or Horse sacrifice for expansion of empires and political power demands sacrifice of the ceremonial horse or Ashwa into 36 pieces...."
Wadhwa provides Vedic and other Hindu text references to rebut prior posts:
"....Vedas and Vegetarian diet:
Atharva Veda says:
1. Breehimattam yavamattamatho maashamatho tilam
Esha vamm bhaago nihito ratnadheyaaya dantau maa hinsishtam pitaram maataram cha (Atharva Veda 6.140.2)
Abstract meaning: O Teeth! You eat rice, barley, gram and sesame.  These cereals are specifically meant for you.  DO NOT KILL THOSE WHO ARE CAPABLE OF BEING FATHERS AND MOTHERS.
2.  Anago hatya vai bheema kritye.  Maa no gaamashvam purusham vadheeh.(Atharva Veda 10.1.29)
Abstract meaning: It is definitely a great sin to kill innocents.  Do not kill our cows, horses and people....
....The Vedas do not at all sanction animal sacrifices.  The synonym for the Yajna in the Vedic lexicon called Nighantu is Adhvara.  The Word has been explained by Yaskacharya, an ancient vedic etymologist, as:
Adhvara eti yajyanam dhvarati hinsa karma tatpratished Nirukta 1.7 
Adhvara means where there is no violence of any kind (or the act which is perfectly non-violent).  This word(Adhvara) has been used in all the four Vedas hundreds of times clearly proving that the Vedas do not sanction animal sacrifices.  
In the Sam Veda-176,  too it is clearly stated - We  act according to the injunctions contained in the vedic hymns.  We never kill animals.
Meat-eating is not sanctioned by the Vedas.  On the other hand it is strongly condemned and prohibited.  Rig Veda 10.87.16  says....
Who then started such obnoxious practice of animal sacrifice?  Bhismacharya replies to Yudhishtra in Mahabharata (Shanti Parva - 261.9) "Dhortey pravriti  yajney naitadveydeshu vidyatey" i.e., Taking Wine, fish and flesh of animals, intoxicating drinks of various kinds, etc. is not sanctioned by the Vedas at all.  It is the wicked people that have introduced such ignoble practices. ....
In the Vedas the cows are called Aghanya i..e, which are never to be killed.  Ashvamedha means the proper administration of the State to promote or consolidate power of the State as is evident from Shatpatha Brahmana. 
Source:  "Teachings of the Vedas": An introduction by Pt.Dharma Dev Vidya Martand, pub.by Shree Ghudmal Prahaladkumar Arya Dharmarth Nyas, Hindaun City, Raj.
Swami Vidyanand Saraswati, (formerly Principal and Fellow Punjab University) writes while quoting Atharva Veda 1.16.4 "Capital punishment has been ordered for one who kills or tortures our cows or men, deserves to be shot dead, because such a person is a murderer(viraha).  How can we then conceive the killing of animals in any yajna which has been termed as the noblest act or 'shreshthatam karma' .  It has been generally held by western scholars and their zealous followers here, that horse were sacrificed as the Ashvamedha.  But the word Ashvamedha, during the Vedic period, was used in the sense of administration or welfare of the state(Rashtram va Ashvamedha -  Shatpatha 13-1-6)...
To support his argument in favour of  non-vegetarian diet Mr.Arihant in his mail has quoted Swami Vivekanand while conveniently ignoring the views of Maharishi Dayanand (1824-1883) who started a signature campaign against cow slaughter and sent a memorandum to Queen Victoria.  Maharishi Dayanand writes in his book Satyarth Prakash  "Neither we should kill, nor allow others to kill animals like cow, who in one generation does good to four lakhs seventy five thousand and six hundred people....
I can only say that anyone who looks at our vast ancient literature with an illogical, subjective and selective approach without taking into consideration its dominating spirit as well as the interpolated part shall neither be able to explode the myths nor find the gems of deeper Vedic truths..."
Viswa comments:
"....While I do not consider vegetarianism is a curse - rather it is a boon for a sustainable and an eco-friendly civilization (as we all know from recent years as to how much corn and soybean is being consumed in China to feed the pigs that are meant for human consumption - http://pigpenning.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/report-feeding-chinas-pigs/ ) -
my own time spent amongst the Ho-tribes in Chhotanagpur exposed me to a very astonishing and wonderful discovery.

Generally, the tribes do not eat beef or pork or even meat in general because of poverty. T heir poverty does not allow them to consume anything more than a chapatti or soaked rice... However, during times of celebrations / festivities - almost all of these festivities related to either agriculture or hunting - an entire tribe will consume a pig or cow or goat..." 
Thatte asks:
".... would like someone in this group shed some light on this issue of the Rishis and ancient Hindus eating meat, especially beef.Please note the verse 6.4.18 of  Brihadaranyaka  Upanisad.   Ramakrishna Math (Chennai) English translation of this shloka says,

" He who wishes, May a son be born to me, who will be a reputed scholar, attend assemblies, speak words that one likes to hear, be versed in all the Vedas and attain full longevity", should have rice cooked with meat .."

Chittaranjan responds to prior comment:
"...The translation of that Brihadaranyaka Upanishad mantra mentioned by you (6.4.18) is correct. But please note that this mantra relates to a ritual, i.e., the ritual of getting a son with certain characteristics, and is not to be
understood as a general prescription for people to follow in their day-to-day lives. In rituals, as in medicine, consuming meat that is prohibited otherwise may sometimes be allowed..." 

Sanjay responds to Arihant:
"...Arihant: Two greatest exponents of Yoga in 19th century universally recognized, first Swami Vevekanand and  secondly Evolutionary Yogi Sri Aurobindo both used to eat red- meat(goat meat or mutton), egg, chicken and fish. That did not stop  them from transcending all Gunas(modes of material nature) and  attain highest enlightenment in the history of evolution.

Not entirely true.  There was a time before his Self-realization when Sri Aurobindo gave up meat. He said : "With the vegetarian diet I was feeling light and pure. It is only a belief that one can't do without meat; it is a question of habit" (Evening Talks, vol 3, p 88)

Alberruni  the 11th century visitor to India offers a possible reason for why cow-eating was forbidden in ancient India.  This is the passage from the book

Alberuni: Some Hindus say that in the time before Bharata (i.e.Mahabharata war) it was allowed to eat the meat of cows, and that there then existed sacrifices part of which was the killing of cows. After that time, however, it had been forbidden on account of ...
.....As for the economical reason, we must keep in mind that the cow is the animal which serves man in travelling by carrying his loads, in agriculture in the works of ploughing and sowing, in the household by the milk and the product made thereof. Further, man makes use of its dung, and in winter-time even of its breath. Therefore it was forbidden to eat cow's meat; as also Alhajjaj forbade it, when people complained to him that Babylonia became more and more desert.

The text can be read online
(Edward Sachau. Alberuni's India. ....."

Vikram comments:
"...Tapan... maybe on to something although slightly reversed. It maybe that in places with plenty, people include it and in those places where its scarce, they turn vegetarian...
This would suggest ecological economics plays a very important part in the Hindu's Diet and therefore more sustainable than any other diet (even purely vegetarian ones). Its goes back to the point that the Hindu strives to reduce himsa and does not differentiate between plant/animals..."

Varun shares some useful links and statistics:
Some good articles in favor of vegetarianism.

Some imp one-liners from these articles:
1. On average, it takes 1,790 litres of water to grow 1kg of wheat compared with 9,680 litres of water for 1kg of beef.
2. It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein.
3. Excrement produced by chickens, pigs, and other farm animals: 16.6 billion tons per year -- more than a million pounds per second (that's 60 times as much as is produced by the world's human population -- farmed animals produce more waste in one day than the U.S. human population produces in 3 years). This excrement is a major cause of air and water pollution..."
Srinath comments:
"....Many Hindus are vegetarians today. Period! Whatever be the reason for that, vegetarianism is a noble practice and it is supported by well documented evidence of the inherent cruelty of animal husbandry, and the sheer inefficiency and environmental costs of using grain to feed animals that feed us. Just check out PETA's site if you don't believe me - now, if the fact that Westerners are advocating vegetarianism will not convince you, I don't know what will.

Thirdly, both Upanishadic truths and modern genetics tells us that we are all pretty much the same. Vegetarianism is fundamentally a recognition of this fact. We should be proud that Hindus came to this conclusion before the advance of genetics and PETA.

In summary, it is extremely unfortunate that Hindus cannot be proud of their vegetarian beliefs in spite of overwhelming evidence that their beliefs are supported by advances in science. How can then we accuse Westerners of not respecting us and our philosophy?..." 

Closing statements:
Rohit shares info on a vegetarian diet works for body builders

Menon (quoting from another egroup)

On Vegetarianism - Part-1 By Swami Sivananda

Sage Uddalaka instructs his son Svetaketu: "Food when consumed, becomes
threefold. The gross particles become the excrement, the middling ones flesh,
and the fine ones the mind. My child, when curd is churned, its fine particles
which rise upwards form butter. Thus, my child, when food is consumed, the fine
particles which rise upwards form the mind. Hence, verily, the mind is food".

Three Kinds of Diet

Diet is of three kinds, viz., Sattvic diet, Rajasic diet, and Tamasic diet. In
the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: "The food which is dear to each
is threefold. The food which increases vitality, energy, vigour, health, and joy
and which are delicious, bland, substantial, and agreeable are dear to the pure.
The passionate persons desire foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively
hot, pungent, dry, and burning, and which produce pain, grief, and disease. The
food which is stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten, and impure, is dear to the

.... Fish, eggs, meat, salt, chillies, and asafoetida are Rajasic
food-stuffs; they excite passion and make the mind restless, unsteady, and
uncontrollable. Beef, wine, garlic, onions, and tobacco are Tamasic food-stuffs.
They exercise a very unwholesome influence on the human mind and fill it with
emotions of anger, darkness, and inertia.


....at least 4000 years of adherence to Sanatana Dharma have resulted in a significant proportion of Hindus who are vegetarian, and that today, this behavior is being accepted as healthier, nobler, and perhaps even necessary for mankind. To those who say that eating meat is their prerogative, I would simply say that many Hindus eat meat, and so this is not about converting those who will eat from doing so. We must all weigh the existing evidence and the call of our conscience.
....However, it is not only a moral issue, since it could develop into a serious resource/environmental issue. This could be especially troublesome in India where environmental laws are weak and enforcement is lax. ...However, these arguments are useful for the purposes of rebutting Western claptrap that animals are a protein resource that is being overlooked.
Lastly, I would like to suggest that in a culture in which vegetarianism is important, the importance of cows makes sense, since milk is an essential and necessary component of a Hindu vegetarian diet, and certain nutrients like vitamin B12 are not available in any significant amount in plants (besides the fact that milk is an important source of calcium, protein, and many other nutrients). But then why venerate cows and ban their slaughter? I would suggest that this is to ensure their humane treatment, since they are animals that are necessary for our food source and must be reared and tended. Seen in this light, cows are indeed Go-Maata as they provide needed and necessary nourishment, and if their veneration ensures their humane treatment, this is a good thing. To me at least, 4000 years of Hindu wisdom makes perfect sense and may even be finally getting acceptance today."

I must also add that the word 'Ashwamedha' is wrognly interpreted as 'Horse Sacrifice'. The connotation of the word 'ashwa' is 'ashnute vyaapnoteeti ashwah'. [One who expands; or one who radiates]. The word 'medhaa ' is NOT sacrifice. The connotation is 'maatrashaH edhati anayaa iti medhaa" - [That by which one can determine exactly is Medhaa]. The famous 'Ashwamedhaa sukta' (Rik. 1-164), which is widely misinterpreted as 'Horse Sacrifice' neither mentions a horse nor describes a sacrifice. It is a sukta, wherein Dheerghatamaa Maharshi explains the science of Cosmos. Unfortunately most of the Commentators are not exposed to Science; and hence go astray. All these I have elaborated in my book 'The Science of Hinduism', pending publication.

5.  Shambhu  responds to Thattey's question

I have doubts on these translations.

BrihadaaraNyaka 6-4 deals with garbhaadaana and naamakaraNa.

Its five mantras 14-18 should be understood together - here RiSi Yaajnavalkya narrates the kinds of food to be taken by a couple desiring a son (mantras 14-16 and 18) or daughter (mantra 17) of Vedic learning.

In the context of the preceding four mantras, mantra 18's three words (maamsa, ukSaNa, and RSabha) can be connected to meat eating only with great fantasy. Moreover, the words ukSaNa and RSabha are in triteeyaa vibhakti (i.e., with/by ukSaNa, with/by RSabha). Lastly, the Rigvedic word for bull is ukSANa and not ukSaNa.

Therefore: maamsa here is the fleshy part or pulp of fruit. ukSaNa is sprinkling (of water), and RSabha is aumkaara. The word pra+ukSaNa (prokSaNa) is in use in many Indic languages even today, and its ritual usage is widespread in any purification ceremony (udakashaanti, puNyaaham, maarjana during the daily sandhyaavandanaa, etc.)...."

1 comment:

  1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E6029miw-8
    Capt., Could you answer the following question on this video pleassseee.How did mr. rajiv conclude killing a plant is lesser harm?
    And eating non-veg where veg food is unavailable(coastal areas) would certainly not be adharma, right?